Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Keep your brain healthy by mentally challenging it and stay socially active.

Keep your brain healthy by mentally challenging it and stay socially active.
beginning of content

Dementia prevention

Scientific research suggests that leading a brain-healthy life may reduce the risk of developing dementia later in life. However, there are no guarantees. As yet, dementia can’t be prevented or cured but there is evidence that people can reduce their risk of dementia and other chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer by adopting healthy lifestyles.

Leading a brain-healthy life means looking after your brain, your body and your heart. The earlier you do this the better, but it is particularly important once you reach middle age when changes start to occur in the brain.

There are a number of ways to keep your brain healthy and reduce your risk of developing dementia later in life.

1. Look after your heart

What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain.

Your chances of developing dementia seem to increase if you have problems that affect your heart or blood vessels.

2. Be physically active

Exercise gives your brain a boost. There is strong evidence that people who do regular physical activity have healthier brains and a lower risk of dementia.

3. Mentally challenge your brain

Your brain benefits every time you learn something new. Learning may maximise your cognition and ability to maintain a level of good brain power. So, take up a new language or a new sport, and mentally challenge yourself as much as possible.

4. Follow a healthy diet

Feed your brain well by maintaining a healthy diet. You can find tips about what to eat in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

5. Enjoy social activity

Socialise with people whose company you enjoy. If possible, try some activities that involve both mental and physical activity such as dancing or a team sport.

Two more strategies that may reduce your risk of developing dementia are:

  • Avoiding injury: Be safety-conscious and reduce falls or accidents – people who have had serious head injuries have a higher risk of dementia
  • Managing depression: People who have had depression have a higher risk of dementia.

How to reduce your risk of dementia - expert advice

Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, exercising, having a good diet and reducing your blood pressure and cholesterol can help reduce the risk of developing dementia. Watch the video below and find additional advice that can help reduce this risk.


Read the related video transcript

Last reviewed: November 2016

Recommended links

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 202 results

Preventing dementia (Alzheimer's disease) video information | myVMC

Dementia or Alzheimer's disease may be prevented with blood pressure lowering therapies (antihypertension treatment) and other heart health measures.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Alzheimer's Australia | Information about dementia prevention and risk reduction

Alzheimers disease: Prevention Information on current prevention and risk reduction strategies provided by the Mayo Clinic.Be Head Strong campaign by the UK Alzheimers Society

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's disease - myDr.com.au

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. Find out all you need to know, including what causes it and whether it can be prevented.

Read more on myDr website

Urinary incontinence: About incontinence | myVMC

Dr Joe Kosterich talks about causes of urinary incontinence, such as pregnancy or dementia, and ways of preventing and managing urinary incontinence.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Alzheimer's Australia | Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's disease. What is vascular dementia? Vascular dementia is the broad term for dementia associated with problems of circulation of blood to the brain. Are there different types of vascular dementia? There are a number of different types of Vascular dementia. Two of the most common are Multi-infarct dementia and Binswanger's disease.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Genetics of dementia

People affected by dementia are often concerned about whether the condition can be passed along in families. Here we discuss the role of heredity in Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Drug treatments & dementia

Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses that cause a progressive decline in a persons functioning. It is a broad term to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and what would be considered normal emotional reactions. Dementia causes significant impairment in a persons day to day functioning.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Information for carers of dementia patients | myVMC

Carers of Dementia Patients: Information for carers of Dementia Patients and caring for dementia patients written and reviewedby Medical Professionals.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Alzheimer's Australia | What is dementia?

Information The information in this section defines dementia, describes the symptoms and causes of dementia and explains the difference between normal memory problems and dementia. What is dementia? Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the persons normal social or working life.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Memory problems (Alzheimer's and dementia) information | myVMC

Memory problems or memory loss is commonly caused by Alzheimer's disease or dementia, but sleep disturbance and thyroid conditions also affect memory.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback